“There are times, young fellah, when every one of us must make a stand for human right and justice, or you never feel clean again.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Lost World”
If the District 8-5A baseball teams were anything like Congress, the Harker Heights Knights would be true moderates.
Of course, if anybody understands our nation’s political climate nowadays, they know the moderate — with all his masses-pleasing handshaking and conceding on either sides of the aisle — doesn’t actually get anything accomplished.
Sure, it’s nice to be middle-of-the-road when it comes to politics. Most of America is middle-of-the-road. But not when it comes to sports. Sweden doesn’t win many Olympics, if you catch my drift.
A week into the second half of the district slate, the Knights baseball team has proven to be the definition of a .500 club — 11-11, 5-5 in 8-5A. And after Tuesday night’s debacle with a 5-1 loss to Ellison (7-18, 4-6), a team that is currently 11 games under .500, Harker Heights is teetering on the edge of finding itself on the outside of the playoff hunt.
With just four games to go, the Knights are in fourth place, just one game ahead of the very same Eagles who beat them. And now comes tonight’s ultra-pivotal game against twin-brother Shoemaker (14-9, 6-4), which currently sits one game ahead of Heights in third place. Heights dominated in their first meeting of the season as senior Kyle Randall pitched a one-hit gem in a lightning-delayed 4-0 shutout March 19.
But since the last week of March, the Knights have been in decline, losing three straight and four of their last five in 8-5A entering tonight. The Grey Wolves, on the other hand, are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and look like a team charging toward a highly-coveted playoff spot.
The top two postseason spots are relatively set as Belton and Waco Midway fight it out for the district championship. But the two spots behind them are up in the air. Meaning its time for the moderate Knights to finally take a stand. Are they a legitimate contender or are the Knights exactly what Copperas Cove and Ellison have exposed them to be — pretenders?
The next two weeks will tell the tale for Heights and whether a talented, yet inexperienced team can take the next step or fade into obscurity.
So long as they don’t lose to anybody else below them in the standings, Heights can slide back into the playoffs with an almost assured one-and-done postseason awaiting them.
But if they want to avoid being 8-5A’s Sweden, the Knights need to be resolute and make a stand on the issue of whether or not they’re a playoff team.